Before he became the driving force behind Simply Red, Mick Hucknall was the driving force behind The Frantic Elevators. Largely inspired by seeing The Sex Pistols, Hucknall went about putting together a band in the Punk mold but branching out into other areas. From their beginnings in 1977 until their disbanding in 1984, The Frantic Elevators were a word-of-mouth band, whose limited edition locally produced 45s did much to promote their mystique until 1984 when the band quit and Hucknall re-emerged with Simply Red. They were virtually unknown outside the UK, playing gigs and doing radio sessions locally, and certainly with no record distribution set up except through local shops.
But John Peel was a big fan, and was their biggest promoter. Here is a session they recorded on February 25, 1981 at the BBC. It’s one of two sessions the band did for Peel. So this marks a rare appearance for a band probably wondered about more than heard. But it gives an idea how fortunes can change once the style and direction change.
If you’ve been a follower of Simply Red for the past several years, this discovery of a session by a band that pre-dates Simply Red is pretty historic stuff. You may not recognize Mick Hucknall’s voice – in fact, there may be little of anything about The Frantic Elevators which will remind you of the later endeavor of Mick Hucknalll. But you can enjoy it anyway.
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